Tag Archives: context

Be a Beacon Show: 2012-01-09 – Cubby-holes and such

When I was younger I used to get upset when people would pigeon-hole me. I would bristle at being labeled a math nerd, or later when an art critic would lump my work in with some known and established style.

It felt dismissive and lazy to me, but I look at it differently now. People are busy. They have their own problems, their own trunk full of stuff to lug around. They don’t generally mean any harm when they put you in cubby-hole. They just don’t have the time to thoroughly examine everything and every person that they encounter.

Putting you in a box that already has a label is actually a compliment: you’ve gotten enough of their attention to at least do that. It’s now up to you to do more. If you want people to “get” you then you have to build the bridge, you have to make the connection. You have to pique their interest so they want to know more, so they start to understand your context, so they can see all your marvelous differences in high relief.

Be grateful if someone puts you in one of their mental cubbies. And use that nest as a foundation for building a relationship, but also be grateful for the information you’ve been given: the label on the slot they used to categorize you is a reflection of how they understand your message, your story, your brand.

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Listen to The Be A Beacon Show: Personal Branding with David Cohen every Monday at 10:30AM Eastern Time on Blog Talk Radio.

Posted in Be A Beacon, branding, Branding Thoughts, commentary, Doodles, podcast, Thought for the day | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

You Can't Swim on Dry Land

Scuba Bunny

Have you ever tried to walk across the bottom of the deep end of a swimming pool? It may have been fun bouncing along under the surface, but you certainly didn’t get anywhere very fast. What works very efficiently on dry land is almost completely ineffectual under the water.

Now imagine trying to swim down a sidewalk. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Without the buoyancy you would just grind in place. Change your medium and what was once an asset can become a liability, a successful tactic might just be limiting your progress or bringing it to a grinding halt.

I’m a big believer in paying attention to context, what works in print may not work in radio. What works on the radio, might not work for TV. The big new swimming pool is social media. Not every marketing tactic is going to work the same in the social web. Some old standbys may not work at all. Trying too hard to control the message and interrupting people will leave you bouncing in one place running out of air. Sharing, educating, listening and participating seem to be the better strokes in these new waters.

Posted in Branding Thoughts, commentary, context, mad scribblings, social media, Thought for the day | Also tagged , | Comments closed